I need help with my thesis statement for my History research paper.  My question is "Did people follow Hitler because they believed in his cause or because they were fearful for their lives?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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When you write a thesis statement you have to resolve your essential questions prior to stating the "case" of your inquiry. In a thesis, you are meant to defend a hypothesis, and not make hints to ask questions. That is what the conclusion of your essay does: you resolve your inquiry there and answer every question that may arise from the reader's point of view.

However, it is obvious from your essential question that you have a genuine desire to research both possibilities: whether people were scared, or connected. This is commendable, and will take additional work, so let's look at the essence of your inquiry to put the right words together.

Your main issue is to question the possibility that a portion of Hitler's followers were scared for their lives. State exactly what the fear was: fear of the growing Jewish influence in the community? Fear of Hitler's abrasive ways? Fear of the SS?

As part of your issue, you also want to question the possibility that the other portion of Hitler's followers were truly infatuated by the cause that Hitler purportedly defended. State exactly what was the cause that Hitler intended to defend so that your thesis statement is very strong.

Hence, your preliminary statement may sound something like this:

  • "This research will demonstrate that Adolf Hitler's success among the people of Germany had less to do with the Führer's manipulation of the people, and more to do with the combination of the people's fear of ______________ and support for ______________. "

Remember that a thesis statement refers to a complete, powerful thought that conveys the essence of your research in a complex sentence.

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